SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

November 14, 2012

Battle of the Panthers: Beverly squares off against Franklin in girls soccer Division 1 state semifinal

(Continued)

“I’ve coached Casey since she was 10 years old,” Simpson explained. “I’ve always known of her capabilities, and it’s not surprising that she’s come up so big for us.”

Classmate Caitlin Harty recorded her 50th goal of the season to tie the game at 1-1 against Central. As the team’s leading scorer in the regular season, Harty has continued to dominate offensively in several of the tournament contests, including three goals against Cambridge in the first round.

The Panthers’ defense is well-grounded by junior sweeper Kristen O’Connor, who takes most of the team’s direct kicks and corners. Senior captains Becca Kemmer and Diandra Crowley also play an enormous role in Beverly’s backfield.

Geysen and his Franklin team have adopted the approach of taking each game one at a time during the regular season, and nothing has changed in the tournament. Though led offensively by senior striker Kristi Kirshe, the Panthers have relied on their entire club to contribute to scoring.

“We approach every game with the same mindset,” Geysen said. “The tournament is a one-game season every time you take the field. You need to win the first or there’s no second.

“They believe in themselves and each other. The girls believed they could be successful in the tournament — and who am I to think any differently?”

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